As I said to my friends yesterday, “End of summer my patootie!” Seriously. On the last day of August, after weeks of pretty delightful weather, the temperature soared to 90 by 10 A.M. By the way, I am not taking into account the humidity and how hot it got later on. Needless to say, my Sunday morning run went pretty miserably. Happily, earlier that morning I had visited the farmers market and waiting for me at home was a big ol’, thirst quenching watermelon.
Wishing I had a pool to jump into, but settling for a glass of cold water instead, I started thinking about what to do with my watermelon as I allowed my body to cool down. Of course I did not want to repeat something my friends or I had already done, but I also wanted something that could serve as a last minute dish for a Labor Day picnic or barbecue (I, myself, am I poor planning procrastinator). That’s when my eyes landed on the cardboard container of tomatillos. Hmmmmm.
Now I had originally planned enchiladas verde for my tomatillos. However, as I peeled back the papery husk of one fruit I remembered one of the market vendors last year telling me they were like green tomatoes, only not has hard. Pondering the fruit in my hand, I thought of how pretty the green and pink would look together. First things first, though. Would I like the taste of a raw tomatillo?
Cutting myself a little wedge, my first bite met a firm, pleasantly textured flesh…followed by quite a tartness! Thought not as pucker inducing as a lemon it was still pretty acidic. I don’t think I’ll ever eat a raw tomatillo on its own again, but its sour crunch was just the thing to juxtapose my sweet, melt in your mouth watermelon.
Now that I had my stars, I decided to add some beautiful little cherry tomatoes, which had a flavor and texture right in the middle of the tomatillos and watermelon. To round out the flavors, I drizzled on some of the honey mint syrup I use for my mint-juleps (I also used it last year on the watermelon wedges I brought over to Emilie and Tom’s for the 4th of July). For the final flourish, I cut some fresh mint leaves from my garden and sprinkled it over the vibrantly colored salad. Then I placed the salad in the fridge and went to clean my post-run self up.
With the afternoon sun shifted to the front of the house, for lunch I parked myself on the now shaded back deck. Though still warm, a gentle breeze (a hint of the coming storm) helped keep things pleasant enough to enjoy myself outside. It was time to dig in! I took a tooth pick and speared me some salad.
Ooohh, yeeessss…crisp, cool deliciousness. I had tamed the tomatillo. Though still sharp, its contrast livened up the watermelon. In return, the watermelon and mint helped mellow out the tartness of the tomatillo. I love it when a plan comes together, don’t you?
Have a relaxing “last day” of summer. Happy Labor Day!
Tomatillo Watermelon and Cherry Tomato Salad
- Tomatillo(s), sliced into thin wedges
- Watermelon, diced medium to small
- Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- Mint leaves, chiffonade
- Honey mint syrup*
1. In a bowl, add tomatillos, watermelon, and cherry tomatoes in the following portions: 1:2:1.
3. Toss ingredients and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for about an hour to allow the flavors to blend.
4. When ready to serve, toss one more time to re-distribute the watermelon juices.
*Honey mint syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup wildflower honey
- 4-6 large mint leaves, hand torn
1. Heat water in a microwave safe bowl. Approximately 1 minute on high.
I made 1 cup of salad. My ingredients came out as follows:
1/4 cup tomatillos
2/4 cup watermelon
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon mint
1 tablespoon honey mint syrup